Illinois Sack-Machine Ready for Summer

National Recruiting Analyst
Posted May 16, 2012

Oak Park River Forest (Ill.) class of 2014 outside linebacker Nile Sykes is one to know.

Oak Park River Forest's Nile Sykes is a fast, aggressive 6'1, 220-lb defensive end and outside linebacker prospect who had 12 sacks and three forced fumbles a year ago.

While his recruitment is just beginning to take off, he has started to hear from a few schools and the interest is due to continue to rise.

"I got a questionnaire from Wisconsin a couple weeks ago and Michigan State has called my coach and tried to schedule date to come watch me lift weights in the morning. Northern Illinois will be here Thursday to come see me."

A two-year varsity starter, Sykes has quickly adjusted to a higher level of competition.

"I started as an outside linebacker my freshman year. It was a big step from youth football with bigger, stronger guys who obviously knew more about high school football, but you know I had great coaching staff. They taught me everything I needed to know going into the first game. I had the size and speed to keep up and everything played out well. It was a good season."

After an even better sophomore season, Sykes just received word of a big honor.

"Just this past weekend, I tried out for Team USA and received word I made it. July 6th, I think I take a trip down to Austin, Texas and I'll be staying in the dorm rooms for a week. I'll be practicing down there with the team."

The only camp Sykes has planned right now is Northwestern. As for schools he hopes to hear more from, there is one particular program he has always liked.

"I always was a big Florida Gators fan. I really liked how they played and they seemed to know how to win. As I got older, I started taking a liking to Coach Meyer. Now that he's moved on, maybe I'll start watching Ohio State, but I'll still be a Gator fan."

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